Young Harriers Make The Grade

Lornshill Academy in Alloa hosted the second East District League Race of the season last Saturday with plenty Teviotdale Harriers in attendance.

A testing examination awaited all runners with a textbook cross country course laid on that required an ‘A for effort’ from all who ran it.

A big team of 23 Harriers tackled the muddy trails and all passed with flying colours, in particular the 12 youths who ran, proving to be a class act.

The sight of so many Harriers vests being carried around the boggy course on young shoulders was an encouraging sight.  Every one gave their all and showed the determination it takes to compete in these tough events.

The first race of the day saw 66 under11 girls line up to tackle the 1700m route.  Ava Hughes showed customary determination and finished strongly in 37th (8:21).

The under11 boys were next on the 1700m course and two first time East District runners set off for Teviotdale among the 99 runners.  Irvine Welsh and Robert Wood couldn’t have ran any better and both worked hard right to the line.  Irvine placed 37th (7:00) and Robert 67th (7:55).

Nadine Elder (14:08) was our sole representative in the under13 girls and she gave a great account of herself to finish 37th out of the 68 runners on the slightly longer 3000m circuit.

Two more first timers stepped up in the 3000m under13 boy’s category.  Conan Harper and Robbie Welsh joined Thomas MacAskill and Harrison Hughes among the field of 83.  All four lads can be proud of their efforts which resulted in a 9th place finish for the team.  Conan came home in 13th (11:54), Thomas was next, not far behind in 15th (11:58).  Robbie followed in 68th (14:28) with Harrison 70th (14:35).

With the races coming thick and fast, it was now the turn of the 89 Senior/Junior Women in their 6200m event.  Four ladies ran for the club and all worked hard on terrain that was getting increasingly softer.  Lauren Corbett ran impressively to place 40th (29:46), Kirsty Hughes smashed last years’ time to come in 74th (34:14).  Ann Aitken (35:53) and Donna Inglis (36:49) always give their all for the team and finished 80th and 85th respectively.  This great running by the ladies gave them 13th place of the 26 teams.

Stepping back down to the under15 boy’s now and Fraser Clyne (15:07) showed continued good form to finish an impressive 13th.  Fraser was competing over 3800m in a field of 64 runners.

Racing the same distance, the under15/17 girls/women were next and Ishbel Inglis, Carly Blaikie and Macy Cropper finished 12th among the 21 teams and 90 runners.  Ishbel led the trio home in 67th (19:45).  Carly followed next in 74th (20:33) with Macy 79th (20:58).

The final event on the now bottomless course was the Senior/Junior Men featuring 253 runners.  The three lap 9000m race included seven Harriers and resulted in an 18th place finish out of the 37 teams.  Rory Anderson (35:18) was first to finish for the Harriers in 53rd.  Bruce Hughes (36:38), Scott Watson (37:05) and Alan Inglis (40:57) were next to count in 79th, 82nd and 156th.  David Bell (45:40) finished his first East District race 214th.  Paul Lockie (49:19) in 239th and Alan Coltman (49:38) 241st completed the long list of competing Harriers.

All in all it proved to be an inspiring day with so many Teviotdale youngsters showing grit and determination to make the long journey to Alloa and give their all when they got there.  The young Harriers then got into the spirit of the event and spent the rest of the afternoon cheering on the rest of the runners.

With the Burns Club races to look forward to next Saturday, there is plenty more running to be done.

Alex Corbett’s photos here